Summary: How to deal with the past in order to be emotionally healthy.
Grasping the Past to Gain the Future
Series: Emotionally Healthy Spirituality
Brad Bailey – January 29, 2012
We’re continuing in our series entitled Emotionally Healthy Spirituality in which we began grasping how the Titanic can reflect the nature of our lives… great potential…but while everything looks good on the upper decks… there is damage below the surface, If ignored… it will become tragic. It is like the iceberg it hit… in which only 10% on average is seen.. and 90% is beneath the surface. There is a lot beneath the surface of our lives… which can affect our God given design. Keeping it below the surface and out of sight may just seem natural… but it is there. We can bury a lot…but we buy it alive.
Last week we looked at the life and spirituality of David… Israel’s second kings… … who is an amazing model of emotionally healthy spirituality.
In particular we considered Psalm 139 which he wrote… which ends with a prayer that is open to looking at what lies within…and concludes…and ‘lead him in the way everlasting.’ He is open to God showing him his ways… ways that he can’t see… knowing that God holds open to all…better ways than ours.
This naturally leads to considering our past. I know that it’s common for many to express: Why look at the past… the past is the past. How true it is that the past is the past… we shouldn’t harp on it… become bound by it. But pretending there is no connection between past and present is equally foolish. What we are doing today has a lot to do with what you have come to believe and experience in the past. The past is not just the past when it controls our future. The truth is that there can be a need to grasp the past… our ways… to gain the future.
This is something we discover in…
The Life of Moses
When we ask ‘How does God want to draw me out from my past?’… Moses stands as a powerful example.
• He is the one brought face to face with God’s glory, given the 10 Commandments, leads what scholars estimate may have been 2 million people through the desert, and at the transfiguration of Christ, he is one of two, with Elijah.
• He receives more commendation in Hebrews chapter 11 for his model of faith than any other
• He’s a character we think only Charlton Hesston could play.
> Yet we find that he is the most human of all; that in all his greatness… he faced the hard reality of the power of one’s past.
- I believe the most formative issues arises very early in his life. (and I want to express indebtedness to Jim Dethmer who I once heard speak about Moses’ life in this light.)
- The life of Moses is described in the Biblical book of Exodus and others…but we are going to hear from the summary which Stephen gives in the New Testament Book of Acts… because most notably it offers a briefer summary.
Acts 7:17-19 (NIV)
17 "As the time drew near for God to fulfill his promise to Abraham, the number of our people in Egypt greatly increased. 18 Then another king, who knew nothing about Joseph, became ruler of Egypt. 19 He dealt treacherously with our people and oppressed our forefathers by forcing them to throw out their newborn babies so that they would die.
- There Pharaoh who had appreciated the service of an Israelite named Joesph had invited him to have all his Israelite people come to Egypt when a famine had struck the whole region. But that king had long since passed on and there is no sense of indebtedness… just a sense of threat. The new Pharaoh king recognized that these Israelites, who had been given choice land, were becoming a powerful people…and increasing in numbers.
- He had begun to demand labor… and increasing oppress them more and more harshly. As such, their numbers only became more threatening. So he decided to begin having all the newborn males killed. Orders Egyptian midwives to do this… they refuse…Finally orders all the people to throw any newborn Hebrew boys into the Nile.
… the account picks up with Moses entry into the world
Acts 7:20-22 (NIV)
20 "At that time Moses was born, and he was no ordinary child. For three months he was cared for in his father's house. 21 When he was placed outside, Pharaoh's daughter took him and brought him up as her own son. 22 Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action.
Drawing from the extensive account in Exodus, we know that his mother senses something special about this child, and tries to conceal him, but after 3 months she concludes to do the only thing she can think to save his life… places him in a basket… and places him on the reed-filled edge of the Nile (the enormous though slow moving river)… His older sister follows… and sees that this infant brother… the infant Moses…is discovered by none other than the Pharaoh’s daughter.